...See the rest of the page for details...

Check out my new company SEPS, LLC, which is a full service preparedness consulting firm!


And our next HUGE event...East Coast Preparedness Convention III!!!


See News and Events for several upcoming events where I'll be a featured or keynote speaker; two in May 2015, one in July, and one in August 2015! 

  • SEPS

    SEPS Cover, by line. See BOOKS section for more...

  • slide02

    SEPS cover, title section-see BOOKS section for more...

  • Self Defense

    Teaching self defense to participants of NatGeo Channel's Doomsday Preppers press/promo weekend at the Greenbrier Resort

  • Preppers etc.

    From left to rigth: Jay and his wife, Braxton and Kara Southwick, Dave Kobler, and Scott Hunt (Practical Preppers) together after Archery practice for NatGeo Channel's Doomsday Preppers press/promo weekend at the Greenbrier Resort.

  • Cold War bunker

    Jay, and his wife operate the clandestine 18-ton Bunker door during a tour for NatGeo Channel's Doomsday Preppers press/promo weekend at the Greenbrier Resort. This door sealed one of the entrances to the formerly Top-Secret Congressional bunker hidden under the Greenbrier.

  • Access Hollywood Live

    On 4 December 2012, Jay teaches Prepper self-defense to Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, hosts of Access Hollywood Live.

CONTACT:  Send questions, comments, etc. to  We’ll get back to you soonest!

  • Jay is an author, speaker, prepper, father, husband, believer, and dreamer.  Jay has appeared on National Geographic Channel’s hit series Doomsday Preppers, Access Hollywood Live, The Steve Harvey Show, The Today Show and CNN Headline news’ Jane Velez-Mitchell show (see media tab for links).  Jay has been interviewed on dozens of syndicated and major market radio and web programs, and has been covered by major domestic and international print media outlets to include the Washington Post, USA Today, and Agence France Press.

    In addition to writing and speaking, Jay served as a Deputy Sheriff in the Washington DC metro area where he worked as a patrol and SWAT officer, and currently works as an analyst at a business consulting firm.

    Jay has a degree in Christian Ministries, and has served in may different churches and ministries over the years.  He’s passionate about his faith, his family, prepping, and reaching people about important life issues through his writing, teaching, and speaking.

  • Jay is the author of the timely new book Survival and Emergency Preparedness Skills (SEPS): Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Readiness for Uncertain Times(OakTara 2012).  His first novel, The Last Fall  (OakTara 2010), was described as “life changing” by some readers.

    Jay was a contributing writer for the Holy Bible Mosaic (Tyndale 2009), and has published many writings and blogs for publications such as Calvary Chapel Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and

    Jay came in second place for New Author of the Year in the 2011 Family Fiction Reader’s Choice awards.

  • Check back often for news, chances to meet Jay at an event near you, TV appearances, and other events…


    • 15-16 May 2015-Southern Maryland PrepCon

      CrossRoad Christian Church 150 Ball Road St. Leonard, Maryland 20685 (Fri: 2pm-8pm Sat: 9am-6pm)

      I will be the key note speaker at the very first Southern MD PrepCon.  Join me as Southern Maryland will be having it’s first PrepCon in May 2015. It will be in St. Leonard, Md on May 15th and 16th. We will also be hosting Maryland HQL Classes as well as Utah CCW Classes as part of the event. Invite your friends and family.  Click on the link below for more information.

    • 29-31 May 2015-East Coast Preparedness Convention IV

      Winchester Sportsplex/Body Renew Fitness 221 Commonwealth Ct, Winchester, Va 22602

      (Friday 2PM – 8:30PM; Saturday 9AM – 5PM; Sunday 9AM – 3:30pm)

      Join me for 3 days in Winchester, Virginia for our fourth HUGE prepping event at EC PREPCON IV.  Find everything you need related to prepping, as there will be exhibitions, vendors, speakers, demonstrations, a VA/UTAH CCW class, and other self-reliance/survival related products and activities.  This will be the east coast survival/preparedness event of the year!  I’ll be speaking Saturday, and will have a booth as well.  Mark your calendars now, and click the button below for more details


      This event is sponsored and brought to you by Survival Food Plan, Appalachian Outdoor Readiness & Essentials LLC , and Blue Ridge Thrive.

      This event is presented by SEPS LLC.

    • 18-19 July 2015SGK Emergency Prepper Expo

      Hampton Convention Center-1610 Coliseum Drive Hampton, Virginia 23666 (Sat. 9-5 Sun. 10-4)

      I’m honored to serve as the keynote speaker at the very first SGK Emergency Prepper Expo.  Preparing for natural disaster, terrorism, financial collapse, or biologic threat makes sense for everybody. But gathering the right information and finding the products needed to prepare is difficult for most people.  The SGK Emergency Prepper Expo brings everything together under one roof for the entire weekend. Whether you are a prepper, a survivalist, or just want to be more prepared, our emergency prepper show has the speakers you want to hear, the education you need to learn, and the products you want to buy to survive.  Mark your calendars now, and click the button below for more details

      SGK EXPO
    • 15-16 August-Mid-Atlantic Survival Expo (MAPSE)

      Myersville Municipal Center-301 Main Street Myersville, Maryland 21773 (August 15, 9am-6pm August 16, 9am-5pm)

      I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be the keynote speaker at the 3rd Annual Mid-Atlantic Emergency Preparedness & Survival Expo (MAPSE) It is the perfect place to enhance your survival skills and build your knowledge base on skills and products offered for those who want to be prepared.  Click the link below for more information.

      MAS Expo


    • 14December 2012 at 10PM EST
      Paranormal Review Radio: We’ll be doing a live interview on the 10PM webcast of Paranormal Review Radio ( with Anthony Agate and Lucy Leibfried.! for more info.
      • 4 December 2012 at 12PM EST
        Access Hollywood Live: I’ll be appearing on Access Hollywood Live with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover!  Check it out as I share some prepper self-defense!
      • 2 November 2012
        Survival and Emergency Preparedness Skills (SEPS): Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Readiness for uncertain times has been released by OakTara publishers.  See “BOOKS” section for info on how to get a copy.
      • 20 November 2012 9PM EST
         National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday PreppersAppearance on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers ( on NatGeo): National Geographic was with us for two days in the spring of 2012 taping for an episode of their Highly rated hit series Doomsday Preppers.  Find out about some of our preps, and how how we’ve formed a network with friends and family to be prepared for emergency/catastrophic situations.  Jay will be running the TWITTER feed for NatGeo before, during, and after the show!  Click button below for a preview.
      • 20 November 2012 at 11PM EST
        ABC 7 11PM EST news hour feature on WJLA-ABC TV affiliate reporter Greta Kreuzwill run a feature on Jay and his Preps, featuring clips from the Doomsday Preppers episode.
      • 19 and 20 November 2012 EST
        Radio shows across the country! Jay will be featured on a number of radio programs in both live and taped interviews in major markets across the US.  More details on when the interviews will air, to come.


        • 2-3 August 2014-East Coast Preparedness Convention III

          John Enders Fire Hall 9 S Buckmarsh St. Berryville, VA 22611 (Sat. 9-6; Sun. 10-4)

          Join me for 2 days in Virginia for our third big prepping event of the year at EC PREPCON III.  Find everything you need related to prepping, as there will be exhibitions, vendors, speakers (including our featured speaker Scott Hunt of Practical Preppers, demonstrations, and other self-reliance/survival related products and activities.  This will be the east coast survival/preparedness event of the summer!  I’ll be speaking Saturday, and will have a booth as well.  Mark your calendars now, and click the button below for more details


          This event is sponsored and brought to you by Appalachian Outdoor Readiness & Essentials LLC , Taser International, Get Ready, Blue Ridge Thrive, Golden Seal Enterprises, and Survival Food Plan.

          This event is presented by SEPS LLC.

        • 16-17 August-Mid-Atlantic Survival Expo-Hagerstown Maryland

          Join me for 2 days in Maryland for the Mid-Atlantic Survival Expo, where there will be exhibitions, vendors, classes, and demonstrations, and other self-reliance/survival related events.  I’ll be speaking both days, and will have a booth as well.  Hit the button below for more details.

          MAS Expo
        • 2-3 November 2013-Fall 2013 Berryville Prepper/Gun Expo

          John Enders Fire Hall 9 S Buckmarsh St. Berryville, VA 22611 (Sat. 9-6; Sun. 10-4)

          Join me for 2 days in Virginia for our second big prepping event of the year at the Berryville Prepper and Gun Expo.  Find everything you need related to prepping, as there will be exhibitions, vendors, speakers, demonstrations, and other self-reliance/survival related products and activities.  This will be the east coast survival/preparedness event of the fall!  I’ll be speaking Saturday, and will have a booth as well.  Mark your calendars now, and click the button below for more details

          Prepper Expo

          This event is sponsored and brought to you by Appalachian Outdoor Readiness & Essentials LLC , which opens in Purcellville, VA on 11/16/13!

          Document Logo1






          This event is presented by SEPS LLC and High Caliber Events.

        • 28 September 2013-Nation’s Gun Show

          Gunslinger Arms Table: Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly VA 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, VA 9-3PM

          My good friend’s at Gunslinger Arms have invited me to do a meet and greet at their booth at the Nation’s Gun Show.  I’ll be there with books to sign, to answer your prepping questions, and of course there will be TONS of guns, ammo, and other related vendors, starting with the great selection at Gunslinger Arms!  I look forward to seeing you there!

          Gunslinger Arms Event
        • 17-18 August-Mid-Atlantic Survival Expo-Hagerstown Maryland

          Join me for 2 days in Maryland for the Mid-Atlantic Survival Expo, where there will be exhibitions, vendors, classes, and demonstrations, and other self-reliance/survival related events.  This will be the east coast survival/preparedness event of the summer!  I’ll be speaking both days, and will have a booth as well.  Hit the button below for more details.

          MAS Expo
        • 17 March 2013 2-4PM EST
          Northern Virginia Christian Writers Fellowship @Christ Chapel Mountaintop 10501 Balls Ford Road Manassas, VA 20109: I’m honored to join the NVCWF in sharing some of the things I’ve learned on my journey as a writer in a message entitled “The Dreamer’s Dozen”.  I’ll be available for Q&A , and will have copies of my books to sign.
        • 16 March 2013 9AM-3PM EST
          Prepper Expo at the John Enders Volunteer Firestation @ 9 S. Buckmarsh St. (US Route 340) Berryville, VA 22611: The Prepper Expo will consist of various speakers, vendors (currently over 2 dozen) selling anything from knives to bug out bags to freeze dried foods to prepper services, topics related to prepping, and fundraising for the volunteer fire department.  Come stock up on preparedness supplies, meet Jay and get a signed copy of SEPS (or The Last Fall), hear some of the speakers, or just browse for the next thing on your prepper wish list.  There is a suggested donation of $5 upon entry.  If you’re a vendor, and may be interested in having a table, please send an email to

          Speakers and Seminars: Speakers and seminars will be held throughout the day, to include CCSO Sheriff Tony Roper @ 915, Doomsday Prepper and Author Jay Blevins ( @ 9:30AM, Author and Crisis Financial Commentator Ryan McCullough ( @ 10:30AM, Self Defense Expert Nicole Sundine ( @11:30, and Prepper Medical advice from Dr. T @12:30.  There will be raffles/door prizes after each speaker.

        • 24 November 2-4PM 2012 EST
          Book signing at House of Light Cafe, Berryville,VA. Join us this Saturday 24 November from 2-4PM at the House of Light (13 East Main Street, Berryville, Va 22611; 540-955-9777).  Get a hot cup of coffee, a nice conversation, and a signed copy of SEPS or THE LAST FALL!
        • 17 November 11AM – 2:30PM EST
          Release party! Join Jay at the Market Street Coffee House (1020 E. Main St #I Purcellville, VA 20132). Purchase SEPS for only $12, and have it autographed by Jay. Copies of his novel, THE LAST FALL, will also be available for $12.
        • 10 November 2012 EST
          Amazon Blitz! Ordering your copy of SEPS on Amazon?  Wait until Saturday 10 November as this is our Amazon Blitz day!  Help us climb the ranks to number one together!
          Paperback Kindle
        • 2-8 November 2012 EST
          Jay will be the featured author on his publisher’s web site
        • 2-4 November 2012 EST
          See the slide show in the home page slider for pics of Jay at the press/promo weekend for season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s hit series”Doomsday Preppers“, which was held at the famed Greenbrier Resort in WVA.  From 2-4 November 2012 Jay joined NatGeo and media outlets from all over the country to discuss the show, his prepper network, teach a class on protection/self defense, and tour the formerly Top-Secret cold war bunker UNDER the resort!
        • 5 October 7:30PM 2012 EST
          LCWA Panel-Leesburg Town Hall (25 Market St. Leesburg, VA). I’m honored to join authors Suzanne Wells (Exploring Wildlife Series), Clara Bowman-Jahn (Annie’s Special Day), and Penny Loeb (Moving Mountains) for the LCWA panel discussion entitled “HOW YOU DID IT”.  Hear advice about the road to publication, writing, and other related topics.  There will be time for Q&A, and we’ll be available for networking, book signings, and a meet and greet after the panel discussion. $6 general admission, $4 LCWA members.
      • Click on the buttons below for articles, blogs, and other stories in the media about Jay.

        Today Show NPR radio clip and article Off the Grid News Washington Post article USA Today article HitFix

      CONTACT:  Send questions, comments, etc. to  We’ll get back to you soonest!



      and more

      Books by Jay

      Other Writings by Jay



      networking, links, endorsements


      Please check out the following links/sites for goods, services, and sites I believe in and endorse:

      • Appalachian Outdoor Readiness and Essentials: (website coming soon)-Storefront located at 198 N21st Street (Downstairs from Magnolias)  Purcellville, VA 20132 and opens 11/16/13.  The Mission of Appalachian Outdoor Readiness & Essentials is to enable and inspire ourcustomers to Self Reliance and Readiness by delivering a nexus of top quality products,training, and above all, service. Along with the message of Readiness, we will also striveto promote appreciation of the outdoors with a focus on Camping, hiking, Conservationand stewardship. Our Focus is on becoming the supplier of choice for scouts, hikers,campers, and Prepppers in Loudoun County and the Central Appalachian Region. We carry camping and Hiking equipment and apparel as well as Emergency Preparedness  gear and equipment. Water Purification/ Water Storage/ Long term Food Storage/ First Aid Kits, Custom Go Bags, Back up Power, etc. In addition, we will carry the full line of DoTerra Essential Oils and featuring name brands includeing CAMELBAK, Goal Zero, WISE foods, WATERBRICK,  Industrial Revolution, KIDDE, Merrell, VASQUE, Katadyn, 511, SOG, and MORE!

        Method Defense Systems: –Method Defense Systems has developed a series of discreet deployable defensive barriers made from Homeshield Armor(TM), a military grade armor plate, geared towards defensive applications for home and small business. All of their products are intended to be easy to install in an existing structure, reasonably priced, and provide true ballistic protection while blending in with the decor of any home, office, or business. Currently their products include deployable barriers for windows and doors, modular reinforced rooms, and armorized furniture that can be configured as a fast deployable tactical defensive position. Additionally, they can custom-build around a client’s needs.

        Hager Watches:
        Hager watches is an American Company that makes watches of an outstanding quality and price.  The automatic models are GREAT SEPS gear.

        Calvary Knives:   Calvary Knives are made in the USA and offer a wide variety of functional top quality knives.

        Gunslinger Arms:   Gunsliner Arms is a full service firearms company with a store front in Manassas, VA, as well as appearances at many shows in the Virginia/DC area.  In addition to firearms, they also manufacture steel targets and more.

        Blind Horse Knives:  Blind Horse Knives are known for excellence in the knife making community, and have a great selection of knives for all your prepping needs.


      • Mario Orsini-Illustionist&Magician:  Mario is an amazing entertainer.  As an illusionist and magician, Mario entertains with a stunning act full of unbelievable illusions, mind-blowing tricks, and great comedy.


      • Press/Promo Event for National Geogrphic Channel’s “Doomsday Preppers”: 2-4 Novmeber 2012

        Jay Blevins is one of our preppers from season 2 of Doomsday Preppers.  He recently participated in a  press trip at the Greenbrier Resort in West Va and taught the group self-defense moves.  All the guests found his techniques to be very useful and he provided great insights into prepping and why it is so important to always be prepared in case a catastrophic event were to occur.  He was a great addition to our trip.

        —National Geographic Channel

        The Writer’s Center: 5 October 2012

        On behalf of the Writers Center-Leesburg Committee, I want to thank you all for a wonderful presentation on October 5.  The program was inspiring and so great to hear four different stories about how you got to your success.  Thank you again for coming to speak and share your experiences.

        -Review written by Louise Baxter, Co-Chair, The Writer’s Center-Leesburg

        Front Royal Christians in Business: 23 April 2012

        Jay Blevins spoke to the Front Royal Christians in Business Luncheon in the Spring of 2012.  He was great, and very well received.  Our attendees enjoyed listening to his testimony and how the Lord is working through Jay and his writing.

        -Review written by Bret Hrbek, director of Front Royal Christians in Business.

        Capitol Christian Writers: 11 July 2011

        Jay Blevins’ talk to our writers group had the audience enthralled and engaged. Covering content tailored for our group, he punctuated his talk with personal anecdotes that spurred audience interaction and questions. We highly recommend Jay as a speaker.

        -Review written by Sarah Hamaker, Capitol Christian Writers (

        Community Literary Jam: 3 April 2011

        Jay Blevins, author of The Last Fall, is not only an excellent writer who has produced an inspiring book, he is also an interesting and engaging speaker.  On April 3, 2011, Jay was the featured author at the Community Literary Jam held at the Round Hill Arts Center in Round Hill, VA.

        The Community Literary Jam is open to writers of all ages to provide them an opportunity to introduce their work to the public. There was a full house the day Jay appeared. After reading a passage from The Last Fall, Jay spent the rest of his allotted time speaking on the process of writing his book, encouraging writers to follow their dreams and fielding questions from those in attendance eager to learn more.

        I was so impressed by Jay’s knowledge, willingness to share, and engaging speaking style I asked  him to consider speaking at the 2012 Pennwriters Conference.  I know that Jay will do a great job for you as well.

        Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or require more information.

        -Review written by Bobbi Carducci, Author and Director Young Voices Foundation (

        The Believers Book Club:  10 February 2011

        The Believers Book Club was blessed to have Jay speak to the group on February 10, 2011.  The organization has been in existence for the last 6 years and meets monthly with 8-12 members each month.

        Jay’s book The Last Fall was highly rated by the group and everyone was delighted to have him come and speak so candidly and eloquently about his writing career and plans for future books. During our discussion he shared how he developed the characters and the story as well as giving anecdotes of his experience in publishing his first novel.

        The group agreed the book was a riveting read and kept them on the edge of their seats.  Jay said his goal was to get the gospel message out to the world in a creative way and we believe he did just that.

        – Review written by S. Jami Dittmeier, Co-host of the Believer’s Book Club, and co-owner of the Christian Shoppe in Purcellville, VA (

      • Endorsements for Survival and Emergency Preparedness Skills (SEPS): Mental, Physical, and Spiritual readiness for uncertain times (coming fall 2012 from OakTara publishers):

        “Jay Blevins has written a thought provoking, easy to read emergency preparedness book that even the most seasoned emergency response personnel would benefit from reading. In a decade with the fire service, I’ve responded to disasters including floods and blizzards, and too often encounter people who are unprepared or under-prepared for these situations. His book has made me take a good long look at my own preparations and I will make good use of the journal included in Blevins’ book.”

        Christina Earl Firefighter/EMT- Laurel Volunteer Fire Department

        “What Jay manages to do with this booklet is take the subject of survival and the preparedness lifestyle, both of which have been viewed by masses who have never perceived present need of such a way of thinking as foreign and extreme, to those very same masses in a common sense way that will appeal to them on a basic, primal level.  This booklet follows a course for the beginner or the experienced survivor that will awake the spirit and prime the mind to prepare an environment where survival even in the worst of circumstances will be possible.  That is a place where too few of us are, and I am glad that someone has shown the way in a clear, concise, and engaging format that will appeal to others as well as it appealed to me.” 

        -Damien T. Gardner – Owner/Blade Maker, Calvary Knives LLC (

        “Jay Blevins has written a “must read” for all families! Whether you are a full time Prepper or someone who has never thought about being prepared in an emergency, this book is for you!  It makes you realize that we are all vulnerable yet it is not necessary to be in a panic, just necessary to be prepared! This booklet helped me discover why I want to be completely prepared if or when anything were to happen and it has helped me to start getting the supplies necessary to do so!  What a great idea to add a note taking section, this book helped me to organize the list of things I would need and also add to my list some things I would have never thought to grab in an emergency. This is a complete preparation guide that will be one of the things that I keep with me, just in case!”

        -Katie Bryson, Co-Owner, Airworks, Inc. and work at home mom

        “Jay Blevins made us think hard about the consequences of life choices in his acclaimed novel, The Last Fall.  Now, Jay’s provoking us to think about consequences of events we have little or no control over in our daily lives.  He uses practical, common sense while touching on a harsh reality:  a measure of advanced planning can help people survive the unexpected and reduce suffering in body and spirit.  I intend to apply what I learned from Jay’s suggestions on how to not panic (for ultimately we know God is in control), and to implement a plan to be as prepared as possible for the “what if?”  Jay’s book can help save lives – physically and spiritually.”

        – T. Elizabeth Renich, author of the Shadowcreek Chronicles (

        “A very informative booklet that will become a reference guide for your life.  I especially liked the part on ‘preparing for events in your area’ This is something that should be read very carefully.  An easy reading booklet with a note taking section.  Well done!”

        -L.T. Wright, co owner of Blind Horse Knives and Self Reliance Illustrated magazine (

         “Jay provides a practical, systematic, and comprehensive game plan for survival in SEPS which highlights the critical and often overlooked needs of our souls.  After the spirit is broken, the body will soon fail in response and Jay succinctly articulates this reality while leading us to the Truth that sets us free.  There are myriads of survival and preparedness manuals and theories available for the intrepid and keen to survive but Jay’s SEPS is the only manual I am aware of that is comprehensive to the degree of preparing to survive even the end of our lives and into eternity with God.  Well done Jay!  Keep the faith my brother.”

        Patrick J. G. Troy, Founder & Independent Operator – LMS Academy, “Permaneo Vir Superstes!” (

      • A personal note from Jay: “The following letters are a few that touched me on a deep level.  I revisit feedback like this often, as it helps me to stay focused and motivated as a writer.  There are many rewards to writing…but none greater than knowing you touched or inspired someone through your work.”

        -Jay Blevins 1 October 2012-

        (Copied from a card, written in longhand, dated 3-27-11)


        The great lesson I learned from reading The Last Fall is to reconnect with your family, friends, and persons you have done wrong.  I have done that with the 1st person on my list.  Praise God.

        I have learned to lean on God more and let Him work it out.  I have stopped asking God “why me?” when things go wrong.  I am soooo grateful to God for what he has done for me and is still doing.

        Your book turned on so many lights for me Jason.  Your book will stay by my bed so I can continue to take the course of The Last Fall 101.

        Jason, maybe we will meet face to face one day J

        Thank you,

        Evelyn Cope (87 years young)


        (The following review was posted on author T. Elizabeth Renich’s website in the “Read and Reviewed”

        The Last Fall

        by Jay Blevins/Published by OakTara Press 

        My dear friend and walking partner let me borrow a copy of a book that had been lent to her by another friend.  It is called “The Last Fall” by Jay Blevins, and it is a story about Eric Stafford, a man who receives a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer with an estimated short time left to live.  Eric re-evaluates his life – where he has been, where he currently is, and where he might end up if changes aren’t made.  He was not a nice guy, had made his share of mistakes and deliberate actions, and learned everything has consequences.  With the help of two friends, he makes a list and sets out to accomplish the goals he has established.  The book gives the account of the journey toward Eric’s final days paved with restitution and requests for forgiveness, as needed.  It is a story of twists and turns, of contrition and redemption.  I found it amazing to watch the change in Eric when he discovers God’s grace, because he was a different man on the last page of the book than he was on the first – and no one can make such drastic changes without God’s help.

        The story is set in the DC-Virginia area, so not only did I identify with the places, I also found a couple of  names of people I know in the Acknowledgements (Pastor Gary Hamrick and author Trish Perry), which made it even more fun to dig into the story.

        Being a cancer survivor, Beth was sensitive to how I might feel about reading this book, bless her heart.  It was a good read and I enjoyed it because it was thought-provoking, as it provided a good reminder that life holds few guarantees and that eternity awaits us all.  Life is short and it will not last forever – but it is our choice where we will spend eternity…  with God, or without Him.  I choose with Him – I hope you do, too!     — t.elizabeth (12-Mar-2011)


        (The following is an excerpt from a Facebook message dated 27 June 2011)

        I know I told you this before but your book has really impacted me more than you’ll ever know. I have a different outlook on life and my familial relationships! I let my step dad read the book (not a Christian) and now he is asking all the right questions to wanting to know Christ as his Saviour!!! To that…I will always be thankful to you. You are a vessel being used by God, my friend!!!

        Please hurry and write another book soon. Your book is one that I couldn’t put down!!! I can’t wait for the next one!! Never stop letting the Lord work through you, my friend!! You have a gift!!! Thank God you are using it to glorify Him!!!

        Kimberly Condon Ahlemann


      are you ready?


      Preparedness, also called prepping, self-reliance, and survivalism is defined differently depending on who you talk to.  I think when many people who are unfamiliar with the idea hear the words prepper or emergency preparedness, it conjures up an image of a heavily bearded hippy-looking man wearing a gas mask living in a candle-lit bunker surrounded by food, water, and other emergency supplies.  Maybe that’s because of some of the things out there in pop-culture today; maybe it’s because some preppers actually look like that.  But prepping is actually a growing movement that has caught on nationwide.  In fact, in many of the interviews I’ve done, and many of the people I’ve spoken to about this topic for the first time are surprised at how “practical” and “normal” preparedness (and my approach to it) can be.

      That in part is my goal; to promote a well-researched, practical, and reasonable understanding of what emergency preparedness really is.  Because there is so much out there already (from the extreme end to the mundane/barely prepared end), I prefer to use my own term for the idea of emergency preparedness.  It goes along with my most recent book (see books section), and that term is Survival and Emergency Preparedness Skills, or SEPS.

      SEPS are “the combination of knowledge, plans, supplies, and networking that a person, or group has in place in order to survive under abnormal or exigent circumstances.”

      Click the button below for a profile of Jay and his prepper network from the National Geographic Channel’s hit series, “Doomsday Preppers.”



      See the tabs below for a look at the  Six main aspects of SEPS, which come from three essential considerations; mental, physical, and spiritual preparation.  For more detailed information, I highly recommend you get a copy of my SEPS booklet, available now from Oaktara publishers ( or on Amazon.  It’s a great foundation for an important issue. See BOOKS section to place an order.

      • At a recent event where I was teaching on the topic of emergency preparedness, I had a room filled with all kinds of emergency supplies, from food, to water filtration, to fire starters and edged tools.  I asked the people to pick out the ONE thing, in the room, that was THE most important tool for survival.  Some named a firearm.  Others a backpack.  Others a knife.  Finally an older woman guessed it correctly when she pointed to her head.  Your mind is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT tool for survival, and so, the first aspect of SEPS is THE PROPER MINDSET.

        The proper mind-set is one that combines mental preparation, knowledge, planning for the unseen, and practicality.

        Mental preparation comes by taking the time to think through things you may not have even encountered yet.  This is important so you will not be conquered by negativity, or worse, by horrific things your mind may not be used to attempting to comprehend.   Knowledge comes through research, learning, and experience driven by curiosity and/or necessity.  Planning for the unseen involves having a written and mental atlas to steer you through any situation.  And finally, being practical means you should only have to invest a minimal amount of time and money in SEPS and then put them aside if a need arises (instead of becoming paranoid).

        Don’t let possibly overwhelming circumstances conquer you!  The person who says, “we’re doomed” and the person who says, “I WILL SURVIVE” are both right!  Which one are you?

      • What could happen in your area?

        Although there are exceptions, most of the catastrophic events that take place are possibilities because of your geographic location.  If you live in the southeastern part of the US, or on the Gulf Coast, you’re more likely to be hit by a hurricane than someone living in Michigan.  People in southern California have the earthquakes to deal with.  The Pacific Northwest is prone to blizzards, ice storms and the occasional volcanic eruption.  The Midwest sees more than its share of tornadoes and extreme cold.

        But natural disasters are not the only things driven by location.  Although terrorists can strike anywhere, they focus on places that will have the greatest impact.  If you’re in the Washington DC area, anywhere near New York City, or near major landmarks, then the likelihood is greater than for someone living in Paducah, Kentucky (no offense to Paduciahns).  Social unrest is more likely to strike and severely affect urban as opposed to rural areas.

        You need to ask yourself which of these catastrophes, dangers, or other emergencies are most likely to happen in your area.  With minimal research you should be able to find some answers.

        Check with neighbors, local authorities, and other resources to find out what things you need to be prepared for in your area.

        Here are a few resources that I consider reliable: to this website, choose disaster maps, and follow the instructions. to this website, choose disaster safety.  There are many helpful hints and tips here.

      • How much?  For how many?

        If you’ve already conducted research about your area.  The supplies you need will be determined by the number of things that can affect your area, the things that can affect any area, and the extent to which you wish to be prepared.  So if you want to be able to survive for a month without help, and there is a recommendation as to how much of a certain supply you’ll need to make it a day or a week, simply multiply that out to the amount that will cover you for a month.  You’ll also have to adjust for the size of your family.  If you have a family of four, you’ll need to multiply the recommended amount by four in order to have enough supplies to last for everyone.

        The following is a list of supplies you’ll need to consider for an emergency situation.  For more detailed instructions, see my SEPS booklet.

        -Water; Food (and supplements); Cooking supplies; Accessories for the elements (clothing, shelter, sleep gear, footwear); Flashlights; Hand tools (knives, multi-tools, shelter building tools); Medical/first aid/hygiene supplies; Backpacks/bags/containers; Communication supplies; Important documents; Emergency currency (cash and credit cards).

        Bug out bag: many preppers have these bags pre-packed with numerous supplies, in case an emergency hits with no warning (say an earthquake, or large hazmat incident) and immediate evacuation is necessary.  A bug out bag should include most of the aforementioned supplies, but should be light enough to be carried if you’re on foot.

      • In most emergencies, sheltering in place is the best option for survival.  Most people will hunker down and stay put where they are most comfortable as long as they can.  But if that comfort zone is not available, where will you “shelter” the storm?  What if you’re at work when a catastrophe strikes?  What if there is an evacuation?  In many cases you’ll have friends, family, or some type of emergency shelter set up in these events.  But because Murphy’s Law takes over many times (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong), you have to have a back-up plan.

        In order to start putting a plan together, you need to be able to answer the four W questions:  Who, What, Where, and When

        Who is involved in your plan?  Everyone involved needs to know of the plan and how it will play out.

        What is the emergency?  What do you need?  What do you do?  Your plan should answer these questions.

        Where will you go?  When your primary shelter is compromised you should have multiple back up (also called “bug out”) locations.

        When should you implement it?  When the emergency strikes.  Don’t wait for the emergency to hit to formulate a plan, then it will be too late.

      • NOTE: Research/know your local, state, and federal laws as they apply to protection/self-defense.   Safety, training, and the advice of a trained professional are recommended before attempting to implement any protection and self-defense methods.

        As a former law enforcement officer, I’ve seen firsthand the evil that people are capable of unleashing on one another.   Because of the sad reality of the existence of evil in this world, we have a standing military to protect us from foreign threats, and police, Sheriff’s offices, and various state and federal agencies to maintain order, and protect us from local criminals.  Despite the best efforts of our emergency responders, people are still victimized on a daily basis under “normal” circumstances.  But in emergency/exigent circumstances, history has shown us that emergency responders are spread too thin to handle every call for service.

        If law enforcement cannot respond to protect us from the groups that represent the worst in people during catastrophic situations (people who commit crimes in normal situations, and then those who take advantage of emergency situations and commit crimes), citizens have the right to protect themselves.  This means being prepared to meet an attacker with the legal and proper amount of force to stop their attack.  If someone approaches to take something, and you shout and make noise to scare him or her off, well, then that’s all the force that is necessary.  But what if someone shows up with a baseball bat, a knife, or a firearm and they are planning to hurt your or your loved ones?  What will you do then?

        In order to be fully prepared, self-defense tools, to include firearms, are a necessary and important part of SEPS.  The following options cover many aspects of protection from minimal force, to lethal force that can be used in different situations, based on the level of threat:

        -Verbal Commands: Loud, direct, and authoritative words/language to convey/control a possible attacker.

        -Pepper Spray: Used by most law enforcement agencies, pepper spray is an irritant that causes a painful and lasting burning sensation that works on many people.

        -Pressure point/control holds: Use of pressure points/sensitive areas to gain compliance from an attacker.

        -Open handed strikes/kicks: Use of different parts of the body (hands, elbows, knees, and feet) to defend against an attacker

        -Impact/edged weapons: Expandable batons, baseball bats, knives, and other tools used to defend against a would be attacker.  Note that in many cases, this is considered lethal force and an individual must fear for theirs or another’s serious injury/death in order to justify use.

        -Firearms: Considered lethal force.  An individual must fear for their own or another’s serious injury/death in order to justify use.

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